Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: April 2018

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Friday, April 27, 2018

All Things

This may be the start of a certain series, though I haven’t given it enough thought to bestow a proper name to it. In it, I hope to help us out of that mind where we convey a ‘twisted’ biblical idea because we twist a bible verse away from its proper context. There’s not a whole bunch of them, but the ones that persist continue to propagate the same empty ideas and the same misrepresentation of the Truth of God.

Here’s The Word:

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This may be the most common. I don’t know, maybe it’s a tie between Jeremiah 29:11 and this one. I guess if you were to conduct a more comprehensive survey, results may vary.

We’re taught early in church life to “Hold onto the promises of God.”
Thing is, we start trying to create biblical promises that feed into our comforts and desires. God is not responsible to promises He Himself doesn’t make, even if we’re sincere in our beliefs about them. I think I also need to add this one thing: Not only do we conjure up promises that come easy and help us want what we want, we also neglect some pretty powerful promises that are plainly laid out in Scripture but we don’t take the time to consider their context and appropriate application.

So what is ALL THINGS? If I sat down for a year on Facebook and only grabbed the situational context from each time this reference is used, I imagine most times it’s used only as a vague encouragement for when things seem a bit more tough than usual.

    • You disagree with people but you’re tired of arguing. Your face tells a different story but... - I can do all things through Christ.
    • Bad news stacking up one after the other and all you want is relief. You're really waiting to win the Lotto but – I can do all things through Christ.
    • Relationship on the rocks and you don’t want to sound like a complainer. Your frustrations are now silently building up to a boil but – I can do all things through Christ.

Does this seem to be a bit nit-picky? Why not let anything that encourages do its job? Well, here’s why; it’s one thing to choose “good” rather than pile worse on top of worse, and quite another to let God reveal Himself in truth in ways that progressively transform you into the image of Jesus.

Let's use an example where Jesus quotes Scripture to affirm His reliance on God; Jesus is being tempted in the wilderness after fasting for 40 days. Satan, seeing that Jesus is hungry, suggests He turn the stones to bread. Couldn’t Jesus have used a verse from Ezekiel, rather than the one He chose from Deuteronomy 8:3?

Ezekiel 34:15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

You could make the argument that the Ezekiel verse is saying – God will feed me and take care of me...right?
But that’s not the context of that verse.
That portion of the prophecy from Ezekiel to the people of Israel is a condemnation against the leaders of Israel who have selfishly mismanaged things. It's also a promise that one day, God will Himself lead and provide for His people. So we see where initially it may sound good, but context is everything.
There are likely several other verses Jesus could've quoted that sound like they 'do the job', but the verse He chose from Deuteronomy speaks directly to humility before God and the deep lesson of learning what it means to rely on God as a Provider and Sustainer...Just as He is our perfect example, His selection is perfect.

Think about your own particular “go to” Bible quotes. Then, go back and check your quote against its context.
Even take the time to take a new look at the places where Jesus quotes the Old Testament, considering the context.
You may have been overlooking a wonderful, spirit-strengthening, life altering way of seeing that was just beyond your grasp. IN the case of Philippians 4:13, this is Paul, writing from a Roman prison, encouraging other believers to take themselves out of the “center” and to follow his teachings as an example of steadfast obedience to Christ. He goes on to say that although He’s grateful for their contributions, he’s learned how to remain stable. He’s learned how to keep his testimony and strong faith in Christ when things are going well, and also when things are not going well. He focuses on the importance of Christ as the center and sustainer. Even though their gifts to him may come at a discomforting cost, it shouldn’t cost faith or worry about their ‘own’.
Here's the contextual take-away - the strength of my faith is not based on my condition. Conditions change, God does not. If the strength of an unchanging Christ manages my reactions to adversity, there's nothing I can't face and the source of my testimony proves genuine. If we can remain stable in the face of desperation, “casting our cares on Him” rather than losing sleep over worry (even silently), that's a transformation. And rightly applying “I can do all things…” in situations like this, is a way more appropriate use of God’s truths.

In Him,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


What’s the last new BIG thing you bought? A car? A house maybe?
Think back to when you were looking for this new thing to purchase. More than likely you were a bit more meticulous in finding something that suited your purposes than you would be if you were buying something less significant, like a pair of shorts or flip flops.
Big purchases come with an assumed and unshakable weight of responsibility – It’s got to be right because firstly, you want the house or car you pick to fulfill your needs and ‘represent’ you well….and on the other hand, you’ll be paying for it for quite some time. Initially, big purchases are seen as something uniquely different than something you merely buy, they’re investments and investments have to be worth it.

Next question, Are you still in that house? Do you still have that car? ...Do you still treat it the same as when it was new to you?

Being honest; even if it's a cute new pair of shorts or even flip flops, we treat new things differently... we treat them, well, like they're new but If you’re like me (or the rest of us), a peculiar thing happens over time: Newness wears off. What was once “No eating in the new car!” becomes French fries and condiment packets down in the unreachable area between the console and seat. At home, what was once fresh paint, Pine Sol and streak-fee windows becomes bug splatter, unidentifiable odors and the obvious need for a fresh coat of paint that can hold out for a 'few more months', when I find the time.
Really, I’m not pointing the finger. If you look at the space between my console and seats, or several areas around my house, you’ll see evidence of neglect that I would’ve never confessed to allowing such degradation when I made that exciting purchase. I would've denied it outright.
But these are temporal things. These things are getting older and wasting away more and more each day. It’s to be expected. My encouragement is that we recognize it and it’s appropriateness in the natural, but that we resist having that ‘same mind’ when it comes to spiritual things.

Here’s The Word:

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Want to hear something that hits home even more? I initially asked about what we buy for ourselves, but just think about how fast this ‘compromise’ happens when things are bought for us. I could’ve easily pointed out your favorite Christmas gift, which probably still gets some respectable usage. Even so, there’s a high likelihood that even at just under 5 months later….it’s less shiny. This is where and why we need to change our minds and put forth a supernatural effort to not lump all of our stuff into one category. In this case, we have to fight against the tendency to cheapen things over time. Especially because we don't want to convey the idea that free even remotely implies cheap.

Somehow there’s a false expectation of Christianity that we’re supposed to walk around with some fake or manufactured “smile” on our faces and of course, I don’t believe that’s true. Our lives, like the lives of any, go through ups and downs, joys and grief. However, I would like to hope that we aren’t tossed about recklessly, and that we have a stabilizing thing about us, Christ. I hope that we would look forward to each day as if the truth were true – new mercies, fresh from the factory are yours and can be embraced in a better way than we embrace temporal gifts …these gifts don’t wear with mileage and their paint never chips. They’re not temporal, they’re eternal and they remain as powerful and effective as when they were driven off the showroom floor! These gifts are infinitely bigger than any house or car, and by every definition of what God has done for us, there is no comparable investment.

So I pray for you, that each day the excitement of newness would meet you as your feet meet the floor: New joy, new grace, new understanding, a new desire for higher living, new focus, new stamina, new sense of purpose, new commitment to the things of God, new love, new patience, new ability to surrender and give, new hope and a refreshed faith that recognizes that the excitement behind all of this newness is an appreciation for Christ, Who is making all things (brand spankin') new!

In Him,

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Will Power

The story is about as old as anything. Your regular, average, everyday Joe comes across an enviable amount of power, giving rise to the typical; swift justice to wrong doers, self-exultation in the face of those who once belittled him and a reckless attempt at controlling the love of the human heart.
Why is this the common way of things? Maybe there really is something so fundamental to the human experience that power tends to discover one particular course like a dry riverbed after heavy rains.
If this is true, I think it’s more likely that there’s a flaw in how we define the meaning in our lives.
We want more, we want to be noticed, loved and not as looked over or pushed around. But is this an accurate assessment of what life really is?

Do you know that today, whether you’re a believer or not, you did things that were written down in heaven?
It’s possible that your life is ‘mattering’ more than you know.

Do you know that every day you have the ability to lift someone’s spirit (or bring them crashing down) with your mere words?
It’s possible that you already have more power than you know what to do with.

Everybody gets done wrong. Every life deals with slights, being lied to, on as well as being taken advantage of. We have a God who sits high and looks low. Nothing about our being belittled makes us smaller in His eyes. We stay focused, praying for those who would take advantage of us, that they would see the light before it’s too late and receive the eternal advantage in Christ.
When aligned rightly, our prayers are so powerful that an Eternal, Sovereign God takes note of them.
It's a misguided application to want to see yourself as a lion if your only desire is to roar at people who make you feel small.
For us as believers, the Bible says that we're more than conquerors. However, this isn't to exert power and our will to punish those who make us feel inferior. It's a clear picture of our confidence in Christ to stand in Truth. To stand against the powers that would drag us back to an old defeatists having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6)

Here’s The Word:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

Maybe you wish you realized more in your life; more potential, more reverence, more effectivity… more stuff.
Are these desires rightly aligned with Life in The Spirit? I don’t think so. It looks more likely that this old story can do nothing but dull the reality of New Life.

So please, dear friend, be encouraged. Be encouraged to wake up tomorrow not only realizing the power already at work in you, but also the potential of it to affect things around you for God’s glory and your that order.
And remember, if you make sense of God’s word as it applies to now and eternity, everyday you’re being tested: He’s seeing what you will do with the amount of power you’re given to show yourself worthy to receive much, much more in the life to come.

Here's The Word;

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

In Him,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Here’s The Word;

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Often times when we read Scripture, we focus on the big words: Love, forgiveness, patience, suffering and things that identify with our current circumstances. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s a testament to just how loving Our God is that His word meets us as intimately in desperation as it does in rejoicing. However, there are other words that can pass us by quickly and are sometimes hardly ever noticed at all, until we study. The Bible doesn’t direct us to “study to show ourselves intelligent”. It’s WAY more involved than that.

In my line of work, I’ve met some pretty intelligent people. Not the kinds that go around waving flags about the letters associated with their titles (although they do have them). I mean the kinds that are impressive in the way that they can see a complex problem laid out and step through it almost effortlessly to a comprehensively clear solution, and for the most part, these folks have been a joy to work with.

Now on the other hand, have you ever met a smart person who’s a total jerk? Of course, it doesn’t take an intelligence to be a jerk, but when you come across it, it’s a little more painful. They seem to have a knack for weighing on you, being condescending to you for being less intelligent.
There’s a saying “knowledge is power.” I believe that to be 100% accurate. There’s another saying – “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Also, undeniably true. This is not something only expressed in extremes: You don’t have to be all-knowing to be belittling to people, and it may not be for the purpose of making them feel bad. Some people have deep inferiority and for them, they're just trying to either make themselves feel better or just not as bad. But to whatever degree you assume to be smarter than the next person, and you use that leverage to treat them as less, it's wrong, no matter the situation.
In this post, we’re talking about the caution we should exercise when knowledge begins to fuel a smart attitude and makes us not just less approachable, but less Christlike.

The word of the day is "intreat". This is one of those quickly overlooked words used sparsely in the Bible. But I believe it addresses the common tendency to exalt ourselves when we’ve become smarter about things.

Here’s The Word:

James 3:13 – 18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

1 Corinthians 8:1(b) we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

As we all are becoming Christlike, we see certain aspects of our character that are easily adjusted, and others that take a more concerted effort. No one likes to deal with that smart person who reeks of arrogance, but that’s an extreme view. It’s not only about trying to be less of a jerk. It’s about being pleasantly approachable. Even if the answer is a hard truth, It’s better received from someone who you feel genuinely cares about you over someone who you feel is judging you as you walk away. We can read and memorize Scripture all day long, but I think that how we deal with people who were once in the same places we were is one of many good gauges to help us realize the meaning of “approved”.

In Him,